I received an Email from a former employee who has been following this thread. He is one who has the uncanny ability to “dig up dirt” in this industry. Be it from the halls of the largest corporate cluster, or just some Podunk off-air station in Potosi—I jokingly call him the “Matt Drudge of Radio” for his tenacious talents. He thinks that he may have come upon the “real” story behind the vanishing IBOC at WCBS:
“[Hippo], I can’t believe what I’m reading on R-I regarding the “fried hard drive” in the IBOC exciter at WCBS AM. Mr. Burns seems to be putting off some smoke (pardon the pun). How near-sighted can some of those poor souls be to actually believe that a defective hard drive, or PC card, resulted in a prolonged loss of HD service at (of all places) a 50kw Cartel-owned station in the largest radio market. Hell, we all know how much iBiquity cherishes those high-profile stations for nothing else than a resume item. Do you REALLY BELIEVE they’d allow one to “quit buzzing” over something so small as a hard drive conking out?
And those God-awful DigiCarts... What a perfect example of quirky equipment that (at least) could be fixed without a trip back to 360 [Systems] on a Fed-Ex overnight. I remember [our engineer] spread out on the lobby floor on a Sunday afternoon replacing hard drives, EPROMs, and even a circuit board. But within an hour, that cranky fella was back on duty in the FM control room. If ANY piece of vital equipment in this industry is MORE problematic than a DigiCart, it has NO PLACE in the transmission chain. I say, make damn sure your science fair project works BEFORE you charge some station a hundred-grand for it!
As for the sudden lack of IBOC on WCBS AM, I suggest you browse around and sniff out the bottom line. I hear from my infamous (but mostly-reliable) sources that CJBC Toronto has had enough of the WCBS IBOC interference and has finally put their foot down at the CRTC. Maybe that explains why WCBS’ IBOC exciter is back in Maryland for an extended stay.”
CJBC Toronto operates as the “dominant clear”
offering French-language programming in eastern Canada with 50kw ND-U on CANADIAN clear channel 860kHz
. From the “git-go” Canada was not a “player” in the IBOC experiment. In fact, they bear significant responsibility for the current prohibition on nighttime use of IBOC by stations in the United States
. Furthermore, we are well-aware of the CRTC’s protective stance toward their designated “clear channels”, and sensitivity toward any infringement or interference caused on these frequencies. Just a basic understanding of the occupied bandwidth demanded by IBOC is needed to complete this equation. A search of the FCC site reveals only one unrelated document, but could the matter be in “private litigation”? Any snifters wish to take a stab at this one?